Overflow Pastor Responds to Arrest of Local Church Leader

Overflow Pastor Responds to Arrest of Local Church Leader

By Chuck Ammons, Teaching Pastor at Overflow Church of Brandon

A Pastor in my city was arrested today, making national headlines. Some are angry because his congregation chose to meet in a large gathering when a “stay at home” order had been issued — they are angry at the deep risk of spreading sickness when we all so deeply long for healing. I understand that.

Others are heartbroken as they watch him get skewered by thousands of comments from strangers who’ve never met him but are speaking out as experts about his heart, his motives, and all he “deserves.” They are heartbroken because they don’t know if he was just a son trying to listen and obey his Father. They are heartbroken because they don’t know if this is what Christians will do when THEY just try to obey and people think they heard wrongly. I understand that too.

Some right now are glad I am writing. Others are preparing a post to inform me of the facts so I can take up my side as a “judge” on what needed to happen today.

But I’m just sad. I’m sad because I feel ALL of it. I feel the anger of those just wanting people to stay home because they’ve lost a loved one or have a family member at risk and they just want it to END. As a pastor, I also feel the conflict in my spirit about the unprecedented decisions being made in times like this — about how we obey God, especially when we know as believers there WILL be times it will be necessary to “obey God rather than man.” Where and when do we draw that line? (I’m asking rhetorically, not actually wanting a debate 😉)

To be clear, I’ve chosen to stay at home and our amazing church family has been growing through all of this — I believe the church is a Body, not a building and am watching God stir amazing ownership and revival in difficult times.

I think I’m mostly sad because I am seeing how quickly we as people go to place a “period” on the sentence:

We see what we see.
We feel.
And we all too often immediately take up a side and judge. I do it too.

We NEED critical thinking and we need to be able to challenge one another on issues that matter. But we also need to remember that many of the people who disagree with us are wanting the same thing we want — they are just believing we’ll get there through a different approach. Honor and agreement aren’t mutually exclusive.

We have to have convictions and stand on them passionately. But those should never lead us to judging stranger’s hearts. Dishonoring others in the name of an honorable goal is still dishonor. And, for a Christian, it’s an unnecessary response of fear. Jesus is on the throne and will rule. We don’t have to be afraid.

Tonight, I’m praying. If he intended well, I’m praying for comfort from the Holy Spirit to be there when so many aren’t. If his life is missing it in major ways, I am praying even MORE for the love of the Father to sweep in close. It’s always: “Jesus, reveal yourself deeper to this child you adore!” I’m praying exactly that for YOU right now, too!

Jesus WILL build His church. I’m calling on Jesus completely to heal and drive this virus from our land!

May we all be wise. Be patient. Want the voice of our Father more than anything — and in EVERY way, love.

One Reply to “Overflow Pastor Responds to Arrest of Local Church Leader”

  1. Churches are not ordained by God. They are the mere creations of men. There is nothing sacred about them, despite protestations to the contrary. They are but examples of mere human activity. — ps -I am not an atheist.